A group of us were discussing the big climb out of Sierra City this morning over breakfast. I commented that we’d made it through the Sierras so what was all the fuss over a big hill about? Well this ‘hill’ was a little bigger than I had expected. In fact most of the 12 miles I hiked today were uphill, not steep, but up none the less.
After my delicious breakfast I had to pack up the rest of my gear and get moving. A new wave of hikers arrived as I was leaving including Horny Toad and Sexy Legs who I hadn’t seen since Yosemite. Most people were waiting until it cooled down before departing, but I’d already lost too much time this morning and was determined to put in a decent distance, knowing fully well I wouldn’t get anywhere close to 25 miles departing after 2pm.
I was hoping to get a ride back to the trail head on Hwy 49 having walked the extra miles into town, and knowing the way back was all uphill. I made slightly more of an effort to actually stick my thumb out which resulted in the first car pulling over and popping the boot (Aussie for trunk). I was relieved to see the passenger wearing a PCT hat and coincidently the couple (Karen and Bruno) were the parents of another thru hiker due to arrive in a few days. I couldn’t have timed it better!
We’re entering back into rattle snake territory and longer stretches without water. I filled up at the first spring but skipped the second thinking I’d make it to a campsite near the lake 14 miles in. I stopped at the 12 mile mark because I’ve got phone signal which will save me time blogging tomorrow, but I’m down to under half a litre so there’ll be no coffee or oats in bed tomorrow morning.
At about 6pm I started getting lethargic and decided to stop and cook dinner to give me energy for the final 6 miles. I chose to eat the Alpine Aire Chicken Gumbo meal I’d packed as a treat and alternative to my regular homemade meals. It turned out to be a disaster, tasting so horrible I could barely stomach it.
I started hiking way too soon after eating and experienced reflux and heartburn for the next hour until I decided enough was enough. I went to check Halfmile’s app and realised I had phone signal for the first time since before Sierra City! I had a message from UB who was almost at the trail in Northern Washington. It’s so hard to believe he’s back on the trail this evening, sleeping under the same stars approximately 1,400 miles away. He has to walk 30 miles north to reach the Canadian border tomorrow before starting his SoBo challenge on Monday morning. Good luck UB, we’re all wishing you well!
It’s now 10pm, my new bedtime to successfully complete 10 miles by 10am for the next 7 days. I’m looking forward to this new challenge and am feeling very positive as I head closer to the halfway point in just over 100 miles!